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Hughes India And Airtel Announce New Satellite Venture For Enterprise And Government Services

India and Sri Lanka as seen from low-Earth orbit. The daylight panorama was taken by the crew of the Gemini 11 spacecraft (September 1966) and shows coastlines and land surface color, but no details of human geography. This classic view was taken on an early space flight at a similar altitude to that of the ISS. Patterns of bright white cloud cover much of the land surfaces of India and Sri Lanka. Photograph courtesy of NASA.

Hughes Communications India Ltd, (HCIL), a majority-owned subsidiary of Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), the world’s leading provider of  broadband satellite networks and services, and Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel), India’s leading telecommunications services provider, announced on 7 May 2019 an agreement to combine their Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) operations in India.

The combined entity will bring greater scale, operational efficiencies and market reach to serve India with secure and reliable broadband satellite and hybrid solutions for enterprise and government networks. Hughes and its subsidiaries will maintain majority ownership in HCIL, the surviving entity, and Airtel will have a significant shareholding.

“In India today, satellite is an important layer in the enterprise networks across all kinds of industries – from retail to petroleum to banking to military,” said Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, HCIL. “Together with Airtel, HCIL will expand our VSAT and terrestrial operations to serve the growing demand for always on, always available network connectivity across the country.”

Ajay Chitkara, director and chief executive officer, Airtel Business, said: “We are pleased to combine our VSAT operations with Hughes to serve the connectivity needs of Digital India. Combining the proven capabilities of both the companies, the partnership will bring synergies to the forefront for the benefit of customers across the length and breadth of India.”

The largest satellite service operator in India, HCIL provides broadband networking technologies, solutions, and services for businesses, governments. Airtel is a significant VSAT service provider in India, offering satellite connectivity to unreachable terrains and helping businesses supplement their terrestrial networks with satellite for primary and backup connectivity.

The combined entity will be positioned to introduce new VSAT and related technologies to deliver a wide range of quaility products and services. HCIL will continue to serve existing HCIL and Airtel customers while focusing on serving the growing networking needs of enterprise and government customers in India.

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

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